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People displaced from Katwiguru

In the last couple of weeks there has been a flood of people fleeing the fighting between FDLR Rwandan hutu rebels and the government’s Bravo Brigade. Bravo is one of six brigades that contain troops that, until this month, were fighting their own government under the leadership of General Laurent N’kunda, indicted for war crimes by the international criminal tribunal. N’kunda’s troops were believed to contain a large percentage of Congolese Rwandan speaking Tutsis. Both sides loot, rape and kill, claiming that their victims support their opponents.

Most of the displaced have been welcomed into the houses of relatives in Kiwanja. About a thousand have not been able to find shelter. They have put up a spontaneous camp of reed huts. I wonder if there is a difference in wealth between those that find accommodation in host families and those that are in the camp, and if so how does our response differ. Dotted around the camp; temporary latrines, a communal space and plastic sheeting over huts are evidence of previous support from UNICEF and our implementing partner, the NGO, Solidarités.

Three teams from Solidarités covering; Education, Non Food Items (sheeting for shelter, pots and pans, jerrycans for water, clothes) and Water & Sanitation, were in the town preparing the support for the latest wave of displaced, I had come to monitor their work and get a personal understanding of what was happening.

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Taken on March 16, 2007